Composition & Extraction
Types of Almond Oil
The almond oil is extracted from the kernels of the almonds. Generally there are two kinds of almond oil;
Sweet almond oil
Bitter almond oil
The sweet almond oil is extracted from sweet almonds while the bitter is extracted from the bitter almond oil. A farmer can recognize with the colour of the trees that which type of almond it is. The bitter almond oil is not commonly used as it has
the toxicant in it. However the kernel may be washed with alkali to remove its toxic effect and thus later be used as almond essence in food flavouring.
The oil both bitter and sweet is extracted by pressing the kernel. The crushed kernels yield about 30% of fixed almond oil. The residue left after pressing, is then macerated in water to split the naturally occurring glycoside, amygdaline by enzymatic action, and is then distilled to yield 1% bitter almond essential oil.
These oils are composed of three main components.
1) Monounsaturated oleic acid, or better known as Omega-9 Fatty Acids.
2) omega-6 fatty acids
3) saturated fatty acids
The percentage of Omega-9 Fatty Acids in almond oil is up to 60% while the rest is made up of the other two fatty acids.
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